The Edgaras Jankauskas: “I Played for 172 dollars a month. Enough and was still”


Now Edgaras Jankauskas lives in Vilnius. While out of work, but the spirit does not fall, reads a lot and enjoys themselves and wants to play football.

— Nice to hear how well you speak Russian.

— I was born in the Soviet Union. And the language I should say street, we are on it in the yard talking. I have friends, both the father and the maid in Russian spoken. The school also taught, but it is clear that this is not enough.

Oh, and the constant practice, of course, affected. Wherever, wherever played, always there were Russian-speaking. Knowledge of Russian helps and now, at the end of his playing career.

— What other languages do you speak?

— Everywhere we played, with respect for the local culture, language, trying to get at least a basic knowledge. A game where a lot — in Portugal, Spain, France. Of course, over time something is forgotten, especially if you practice a little, but to talk about General topics with the Portuguese, Spanish or French not a problem for me.

Go on vacation to Spain in the first two or three days hard, and then the language returned. Somewhere in the brain all this information is stored.

“I began to learn Arabic. Just to the brain to activate”

— In Vilnius, the situation with coronavirus?

— It seems to be a little open, although people are still scared. We survived this epidemic easier than, say, France or Spain. As far as I know, people in Spain for six weeks and then could no longer get out of the apartments. It was the Internet to send some messages, check. The same in Cyprus.

And we in Lithuania special control was not. All have given personal responsibility, the conscience of the people. I also supported this approach, but the houses were not locked up — running, taking walks.

To some extent I even enjoyed it: the feeling that you are alone, no traffic jams, the streets are empty…

— Is it known, when in Lithuania will be back in the commentary box?

— I think the national championship will resume early in June.

— And what place football holds in your life?

— Unfortunately, not the first. But in this situation, I think he no one is not a priority. Until recently, it was about health and even lives.

It is clear that football I’ve been missing, even just practices or games with fellow veterans. What would the Lithuanian championship was held, miss it, too. And on TV of the football is almost there, except that of old matches. I hope not for long.

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

With my son, too, by Edgaras / Photo: © personal archive of Edgaras Jankauskas

— What are you doing now?

— While there is no work, club. But time trying in vain not to lose — learn and read a lot. Now started to learn Arabic. (Laughs.)

I have to work.

— Met with one Iraqi. Life turned so that he had to open in Vilnius a small restaurant. Got to talking — turns out he was by profession a teacher of Arabic, so asked me to do the language. I thought, why not? Quarantine, free time a lot… Not that this language I have found useful in their life — just to a little bit activate the brain.

To teach Arabic, I tell you, it is very difficult, because the letters are completely unfamiliar to us. To learn something even unknown to our brain, eyes, these pretzels, almost hieroglyphs, very difficult!

On the other hand, I wanted just such a challenge: get into the zone of discomfort. The easiest way now would be to lie on the couch and watch soap operas. But this time would be lost.

It is important to me even in this situation, to move forward, not stand still, develop. It is a kind of exercise for the brain.

“We played out of our League”

Not disappointed in the coaching job after retirement in the national team of Lithuania?

I know the rules of the game and profession. I think our coaching staff has worked quite professionally, and the guys did everything in his power and in the qualifiers for the 2018 world Cup, and the League of Nations. We in any game, probably, were not favourites. You can say the game is not in their League. Don’t know how we in the League of Nations identified in the S. League Georgia was in D, but when we played her, she just destroyed (4:0 in a friendly match. — Approx.

— What was the most interesting to work with the national team?

— I liked to play against strong rivals such matches give more benefit to the players and coaches. Like to configure in such games players. Because in the team you collect players just three days before the match. And I have very often 14-15 players out of 25 were from the Lithuanian championship. Now, tell me, how to set them, or rather, to comfort, if we will meet with Serbia or England? And we had guys that and in the home, then the championship was on the bench. After Lithuania’s no limit on foreigners there. There are teams where on the field there have been 10 foreign players!

It was very interesting to drive these players out of my head the fear of the rivals from the national teams of Slovenia and Slovakia, where there are players from leagues in Spain, Italy or England.

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

Head coach of Lithuania’s Edgaras Jankauskas. / Photo: Vasily Ponomarev

I will say this: the results of the world we are not surprised, but played decently. Yes, there were defeats in which they conceded four goals, but tried to play safely, leaving everything on the field. And accumulated experience and confidence.

My team was the players from the Championships of Lithuania and Kazakhstan. But even there the pace of the game completely different — not like in Italy or Germany. Here is the question and stood for a minute, we have you run out of gas.

— What coach would you like to be like?

— I was fortunate to work with many good coaches, but I’m not trying to copy someone a hundred percent. The copy is always worse than the original. And in General, to copy someone, you need to know him as a person. What we see from the outside, does not always reflect the essence.

I learned a lot from their coaches, peeped how to behave in a given situation. How to respond to conflict, to destruction, how and when to talk with the players.

— Who exactly have in mind?

— Couceiro, Of Toshack, Mourinho, Clemente Alonso…

They are all different, but they all had qualities I wanted to possess. Communicating with them, learned a lot. For example, it makes no sense to yell at the player to humiliate him. He will never give more. I’ve always wanted that football is primarily played for himself, for his honor. And although football is a collective game, much of it is decided by individual efforts, because they end up going for the common good.

If you don’t treat the player with respect, not being with him in spiritual contact, it will not “die” in crucial moments, which happen in every game.

In some clubs where I played, there were moments when we played through “can not” in difficult situations have found the last of his strength. You’re doing this for coach because he cared for you because he respects you, loves, because he is very much invested in you and believes in you.

“Jose is an intelligent and strong”

Three words that you would describe Jose Mourinho, your steering in the “Port”?

(Thinks.) First, he’s smart. This is very important in football. When you’re calm, it’s just to be clever. But to be smart and even witty in a difficult moment, in a critical situation — is quite another. Here and manifest your best qualities. When all is not calm when the team panic. When the decision must be taken in a matter of minutes, when it depends on your authority, but you are more than 20 players. In such moments it is very easy to lose the respect of the team.

Mourinho has always been able to be clever and witty at times, which is not spelled out in any Handbook. For example, what will you do when you have a conflict with the player immediately after the game? When you told him something unpleasant in front of the whole team? Mourinho has always found a way out of such situations. Or is it talent, or SMARTS, or something else.

Oh, and Jose is strong, of course. First and foremost spirit.

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

Jankauskas and his partners in the “Port” — the winners of the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League / Photo: © Adam Davy — EMPICS / Contributor / PA Images /

— You are the only one in Lithuania, the winner of the Champions League?


— Without whom it is impossible to imagine the “Port”?

— Without the club’s President Pinto da Costa. It was in Porto, I realized that a team cannot be successful if there is harmony between the players and the President, between the coach and the President. Pinto da Costa headed “Port”, probably for thirty years, if not more (38. — Approx. And, apparently, realized this very early. How would the team play, whatever mistakes the coach at first, nor did he always, to the end protecting him in the eyes of the public, media, players. When it releases, can say it was a mistake. He understands very well that the coach always need the support of people who rule the club. It gives me strength and energy.

In the “Port” has always been that way. While I understand that it’s easy for me to judge — we were losing at the time, very little.

We in the Federation are all very different. One game lost — all at once the faces are skewed. It is seen that these people have no experience, no psychological platform, which is very important in professional football.

— Who from the Russian players are the best thing happened in Portugal?

Have Alenicheva, of course! He’s a unique player, had a very good season in Portugal, scoring for Porto in the Champions League finals and the UEFA Cup.

Pavement played in Benfica, before my time. About it always spoke very well, saying that he was a technical player with his head, as they say. In Portugal it is still well remembered, praise for the vision of the field.

Well, Ovchinnikov was a very successful goalkeeper.

“In the States are paying for the name”

— Digress from football: what is the most delicious Portuguese cuisine?

— Everything! (Laughs.) Meat, fish, and everything else. And Portuguese wine is wonderful, although they are not as publicized as, say, French or Italian. I think that Portuguese cuisine is one of the best in the world, and I have something to compare, because was fortunate enough to visit many countries.

— And how do you come to the States?

— The most interesting that I left there 34 years, when it in fact finished with football. Got a muscle tear and thought: that’s enough.

Offer from the “new England Revolution” came when I was already five months have been without football. Agreed not at once, told the people that I already play for fun, with veterans. Still, I say, come work out, but we’ll see.

In the United States spent only two workouts — and I got it. So I think there is still a gunpowder in powder flasks. (Laughs.)

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

Photo: © Icon Sports Wire / Contributor / Icon Sportswire /

— Well they pay the players?

— As anyone. I don’t even know what to compare it to. I remember one guy from galaxy said: “we Have a team of best was Brazilian. He’s all twisted spit on it, the whole team kept. Now, he had received 50 thousand dollars a year. Into the dressing room and sat next to Beckham, who was paid millions six”.

In the United States are paying for the name, not for what you do on the field. That is why there are a lot of stars-Europeans already in his career — the same Beckham, Henry, Keane…

And my first paycheck, remember?

— Of course! Zalgiris I got 172 dollars a month. (Laughs.) Remember that this was enough and left. But what was the course and prices, I could not remember. But I never spent money right and left.

Well, of course, the other times were.

“Who set the tone in CSKA? Semak, Ukrainians, Bushmanov. And I guess I”

I’ll go back to your football youth. As you in 1996 was in CSKA?

In that year the Lithuanian team played a friendly match with CSKA at the training camp in Israel. I played well, scored two goals. Here and liked Alexander Fedorovich (Tarkhanov, the head coach of CSKA. — Approx.

— Who set the tone in CSKA?

— Semak, Ukrainians, Bushmanov… I guess I should call myself, because I scored and shared with others the responsibility for the result.

We all had very friendly staff. Tyapochkin, Mamchur, Andriy Ivanov (the Kingdom of heaven the last two), mascarin, Movsesian… We were friends not only on the field but also outside it. Know how to play well, and rest when necessary.

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

Photo: © Neal Simpson EMPICS / Contributor / PA Images /

— Your most vivid match of those times?

— Most likely, he was already against CSKA, when half our company moved to the “torpedo-Luzhniki”. We then defeated CSKA — 5:0!

As for CSKA, well remember, scoring his first goals in Togliatti. Then he hit the gate and “Spartak” and “Zenith”. I can say, absolutely evil: play for this team was a pleasure.

— Call back someone from the former partners?

— It is now less common, but try not to lose. Played for two years together with hohlovym for real Sociedad, then worked as a coach assistant in the “Locomotive”, and he was in the “Dynamo”. Therefore, to have contact with him regularly.

It is clear that life goes on, each family, their business. And still nice with someone of the guys to meet, even by accident.

— T-shirts, which appeared on the field and keep?

Yeah, I have a lot of them. And CSKA and “torpedo”, and other clubs.

— What is the most valuable of those that you received in exchange for yours?

I do not know. They are all valuable to me, cause some associations and emotions. It is difficult to arrange them in order of size. Each is a stage in life, although not necessarily successful.

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

In the game for real Sociedad / Photo: © Firo Foto / Stringer / Getty Images Sport /

T — shirt one of the players of the present generation would you like to have in the collection?

— I do not exist. Now I would have had more fun if I got the autograph of some famous writer. John Irving, for example, or Stephen king. Must’ve matured, other values in life appeared.

And t-shirts… Now any can buy in the store, and what are you going to do? (Laughs.)

“The boy before leaving for two nights slept in these boots”

— What act of kindness are most proud of?

— You know, there was one story that I never told reporters. But with you, we have 25 years know, so I’ll make an exception.

In Lithuania there is an organization that supports children suffering from cancer. In one of the hospitals was a boy who loved football. I was asked to visit him to give the shirt, a ball, or anything else. He waited for the bone marrow transplant, complex, risky. And I went. We talked, I looked him in the eye. Promised that as soon as he recovers, send him to training or the game team. Put on the first row, or even give the opportunity to train with players of the national team of Lithuania.

It’s great motivated boy, you could even say that he is alive. Then his mom found out.

Distinctly remember, three days before the operation he had in the hospital. He really wanted the boots. His mom told me that he most likely will not survive. And I did everything to get him boots and bring at least such joy.

How then told the mother the boy two nights before surgery, slept in these boots, never parted with the ball. The parents were very grateful to me. But he did not survive surgery and died…

A sad story, isn’t it?.. It got me really touched.

Do you have a favorite place in Vilnius?

— Probably, Yes. But one, perhaps, not name. We have a very beautiful old city. There are a few points where I like to sit and eat.

And if not for Vilnius, where would you like to live?

— I think I could live anywhere in the time played. In 1996-1998, when I played for CSKA and “torpedo-Luzhniki”, Moscow I didn’t like: the eternal traffic jams, dirty streets, and the days of dashing.

But 15 years later, when he worked as a coach in the “Locomotive” began to see Moscow differently. Discovered the old part of the city, Petrovka other streets in the center, near the Kremlin. It turned out — a lovely city!

Or Bruges — it is beautiful, I could sure live there. Or San Sebastian, Lisbon, Porto, Boston, Nice! Don’t even know what should be the scale of priorities when choosing. Climate? Sea? Kitchen?

I know all these cities and I am sure there are people can be happy.

On the other hand, if you have in mind, in your heart there is no order, then this city you will not find anywhere else. Happiness must be within you. If a person is surrounded by the right people, if he lives honestly, if he has a conscience it’s okay, he can be happy everywhere. Well, if not in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, exactly. (Laughs.)

Эдгарас Янкаускас: «Играл когда-то за 172 доллара в месяц. Хватало и еще оставалось»

Photo: © personal archive of Edgaras Jankauskas

— Do you have any Hobbies?

— I play Golf and enjoy doing it, especially in good weather. I love to read. These are simple, available to anyone classes.

“Van Basten was a simple guy”

— Your favorite stadium?

— All where I played and where I had success. I like, for example, the stadium of club Brugge. He always gives me positive emotions.

Love the stadiums of Porto, Benfica. Edinburgh is also a beautiful city with a good stadium. It is so ancient, but very cozy. I had two excellent season in “hearts”.

Yes, actually is now full of good stadiums in all top leagues, even in Russia. I was at the CSKA arena and I liked it very much. About the same “Spartak” and “Locomotive”.

— A child who was your idol in football?

— Most likely, Marco van Basten.

I have an interesting story, too. One day we met in London at a meeting of coaches from all over Europe. I saw in the program that van Basten will be one of the speakers, and thought, “wow, how cool! I genicula haven’t seen him live”.

I’ve had two favorite players — van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp. Well, of course, Maradona and Brazilian Ronaldo are not in the bill.

And I found the opportunity to come to Marco in the buffet. “Listen — I say — you were my childhood idol”. He looked at me with surprise, we laughed, communicated well. Marco seemed very simple. He, in my opinion, even lives somewhere in the village.

— What’s your plan for tomorrow?

— To get 11 hours. (Laughs.) It is important in conditions of quarantine.

— And finally, what is your dream?

— To have more soccer in my life. So I went back to where it should be, where I somehow know, achieved something where I have experience that I must share. In General, to play football, where I can benefit.

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